How do I get a Social Work Certificate?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
A bachelor's degree in social work, human services or psychology can help an individual become a social worker.
A bachelor's degree in social work, human services or psychology can help an individual become a social worker.

A social worker is someone who has studied social issues and the impact on individuals and families. There are four requirements to obtain a social work certificate: an approved post-secondary education, registration in continuing education, obtaining the required experience, and successfully completing the national exam. This profession is highly regulated, due to the large amount of influence and power they have to make decisions that impact an individual or family’s life.

Registering in continuing education is one way to earn a social work certificate.
Registering in continuing education is one way to earn a social work certificate.

In order to work as a social worker, you must have a social work certificate. This document allows an employee to use the title social worker when dealing the clients and other service providers. In some states, a social work certificate is issued to employees who have to obtain additional courses or experiences to qualify for the social worker national exam. Read the requirements for your state before applying for a position as a social worker.

Some schools offer night and weekend classes to allow those with full time jobs to earn a social work certificate.
Some schools offer night and weekend classes to allow those with full time jobs to earn a social work certificate.

All social workers must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, criminal justice, human services or psychology. Increasingly, social work agencies are requiring a master’s degree in social work, but this is not mandatory. A degree in social work is ideal, and allows the candidate to seek immediate employment in the social services sector.

A social worker may work with individuals suffering from substance abuse issues.
A social worker may work with individuals suffering from substance abuse issues.

The social work certificate requirements vary by state, but all require specific courses in social work. These courses include advanced family law, court procedures, and first aid. The required courses are available in the evening and weekends through a wide range of community colleges. Online courses are becoming more popular, due to the increased flexibility for full time professionals.

Social workers might assist young mothers dealing with poverty.
Social workers might assist young mothers dealing with poverty.

Some social work degree programs include a work term, which allows students to gain the experience required. If you don't have the necessary experience in the different areas of social work, the required hours can be obtained through your position in a social work agency. Review the list of required hours to qualify for the social work certificate. Keep track and make sure that you meet these requirements. The certificate is limited to a 24 month period.

Social workers may deal with children who are bullied at school.
Social workers may deal with children who are bullied at school.

The national exam for social work is held four times a year. Successful completion of the exam is necessary to become a licensed social worker. The exam in a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions. There are several firms that offer social work exam preparation classes to help you prepare. You cannot become a licensed social worker until you retake and pass the exam.

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Discussion Comments

anon323804

I did my BSW,MSW, and M.Phil, and one year Post Graduate diploma ( part time) in Industrial relation and Personnel Management. I need the social worker certificate.

anon72858

I need a social worker certificate. How can I take it?

I am a bachelor of psychology, MBA and have five years teaching experience. Do I have to take a course and take an exam?

anon53351

i am working at a senior citizen helpline at hyd. I am also purusing an msw course, What can I do further?

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    • A bachelor's degree in social work, human services or psychology can help an individual become a social worker.
      By: Monkey Business
      A bachelor's degree in social work, human services or psychology can help an individual become a social worker.
    • Registering in continuing education is one way to earn a social work certificate.
      By: auremar
      Registering in continuing education is one way to earn a social work certificate.
    • Some schools offer night and weekend classes to allow those with full time jobs to earn a social work certificate.
      By: Monkey Business
      Some schools offer night and weekend classes to allow those with full time jobs to earn a social work certificate.
    • A social worker may work with individuals suffering from substance abuse issues.
      By: arska n
      A social worker may work with individuals suffering from substance abuse issues.
    • Social workers might assist young mothers dealing with poverty.
      By: Africa Studio
      Social workers might assist young mothers dealing with poverty.
    • Social workers may deal with children who are bullied at school.
      By: Monkey Business
      Social workers may deal with children who are bullied at school.